Friday, February 22, 2013

10 Calorie-Free Celebration Ideas

You can celebrate without the cake!
I'm always on the prowl for great resources to share with friends and clients that might help with achieving their health goals. Usually, a quick search online brings up a hefty bundle of inspiration, info, and great ideas that I wish I had thought of first. But lately my clients have been throwing a few curve balls, and I'm coming up short. So, after searching high and low for the just-right list of ideas for celebrating a birthday without indulging in a lot of calories, I decided that maybe I just needed to create it myself! 

A few people in my life are coming up on the big 5-0. A milestone for sure! But, as they are aging and their metabolisms are slowing down, managing weight is a priority so indulging in a big calorie-fest that will just create more work later isn't looking like a super-fun idea. So I present 10 ways to celebrate your birthday without taking three steps back in your wellness plan. In fact, some of them are a step forward!

1. Pamper yourself with spa treatments. The woman's go-to solution for the daily grind, right? 

2. Walk, bike, or run a significant number. When I turned 36, I ran a total of 36 miles during the week of my birthday. If your age is a number more like 50, focus on the decades rather than the years! Walk a mile for every decade of your life!

3. Buy that thing you've been wanting forever. Those shoes, that pretty sweater, the bracelet that reminds you of your vacation to a special destination...get it! I am thrifty to a fault, so to spend money on myself a huge indulgence. But when I finally do treat myself to something, I treasure it. Find your treasure.

4. Write a thank-you letter to yourself. Many times we focus on our own inadequacies, our shortcomings, and our regrets. How often do we celebrate the wonderful things we do for ourselves? When we reach a milestone birthday, its a great opportunity to reflect on the positive decisions we have made in our lives to get us to that point. So say thanks to yourself!

5. Write a thank-you letter to someone else. You didn't make it to 50 on your own. Let the people who have supported and helped you become such an awesome individual know how much you appreciate them!

6. Make a vision board. I celebrate every birthday with a vision board! Take time to daydream about the next year, five years, or decade ahead and bring that bucket list into focus with a powerful visual tool. For ideas and help, click here.

7. Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. Go dancing! Not only will you burn calories, dancing helps us stay young!   

8. Become a mentor or volunteer for a cause. What is your passion? What can you pay forward? Ask yourself how you can celebrate your own life by helping others improve theirs. We reap what we sow. Plant a seed and start a legacy!

9.  Spend time with people who make you laugh. Laughter is a proven mood-booster and is great for our health. Take in a comedy show, watch a funny movie, or call a friend you can always laugh with. 

10. Learn something new. Hey, you may be a wise owl but you still have a lot of life ahead of you! That photography class you always wanted to take? Sign up. The weekend pottery group your friend keeps inviting you to? Go! Learn to dance, learn to homebrew, learn to sew...stretch your brain to new places and make the next year even better.

Okay, so you might still want to go out for a rich meal and deal with the calories later. And that is okay, too! Those occasional splurges are good for us when in a healthy context and balanced with other sustainable habits. Congratulations on whatever you are celebrating! I hope these ideas inspire you to find even more ways to keep your joyous times healthy and positive. 

Get out there and get healthy...even if you eat a big piece of cake anyway. :)


Friday, February 8, 2013

Goal-Talk: Reaching Goals as a D Student
As a wellness coach, I talk about goals a lot. I help people set goals, celebrate goals, reach goals, and sometimes even abandon goals. And thanks to all of this goal-talk, I often find myself mentally developing goals for people in the course of innocent, daily conversations. I'm a goal addict, its true.

Over the years, I've started to notice patterns among those who reach goals and those who struggle with them. There are definitely ingrained personality traits that make some of us more goal-driven than others, but even laid-back folks can achieve aggressive goals without being, well, aggressive. Its all in how you use the Three Ds That Make the Difference.

I also like alliteration and anything in threes. :)

When it comes to reaching goals, there are three elements that I've found to be consistently necessary: Deserving, Determination, and Discipline.

They deserve it! People who reach their goals feel that they deserve to. I don't mean this in a selfish way, I mean this in a self-care way. And, there are two elements here: feeling that you deserve the outcome, and also feeling like you deserve to do the things that it takes to achieve the goal. If you want to get in shape and you decide that time at the gym is one of the steps to reach that goal, then you have to believe that you deserve time at the gym. That you deserve time to yourself to take care of you. For busy and guilt-stricken moms, this can be tough. But, you do deserve a healthy body and you do deserve to do the reasonable things it takes to get there.

They're determined! People who reach their goals are determined to do it. Let's face it - doing the things it takes to reach a goal is downright difficult sometimes! Work, kids schedules, weekend events, travel, and any number of things can get in our way. But my clients who reach their goals find a way to work around or with those things. They are determined, and they make it happen. Its not always ideal or convenient, but it is always a priority and they get it done.

They're Disciplined! Many times the hardest part of achieving a goal is maintaining it once you reach it. Losing weight is relatively easy once you get the math and routine down. Maintaining it much trickier! My clients who successfully maintain and build on their goals do it because they have developed habits that are now part of their lives, not just a means to an end. Many times, its the discipline to make themselves a priority (because they deserve it and are determined to do it) that is the real secret.

Whether you're a fierce and focused goal-driven machine who barrels through goals like a superhero or a laid-back traveler who wants to make some changes without ruffling too many feathers, the Three Ds can fit into your day. Are you using them? Would you add anything to the list? Let me know if you use the Three Ds that Make a Difference in your life!

Till then, keep getting out there and getting healthy!